Why Shopping Sustainably Is My New Year's Resolution - And It Could Be Yours Too

Whether it’s high street or vintage, interiors or houseplants, we can all agree that shopping is great. Thanks to capitalism life has never been easier or more convenient and I’m grateful to live in a time where my relationship with the Amazon delivery man is more consistent than the one I have with my parents.

However, within the last year, I have realised that most of my purchases were being made for a quick hit of dopamine and not out of any kind of necessity. I found myself scrolling continuously through ASOS looking for another article of clothing to add to my ever-growing collection of unworn clothes. The items I do end up wearing tend to be poorly made, losing their shape and quickly end up in the bin.

vintage shopping brighton sustainable

This six-minute video by The Economist sums up that the entire world is ditching clothes into landfill like never before. My high street shopping addiction is not only leaving me with a sense of unfulfillment, but it's damaging the planet.

That is why my New Year’s resolution 2019 is to try a more environmentally friendly fashion fix, and here’s how you can do it too:

Charity Shops

Luckily you live in Brighton which, whether you knew it or not, is one of the best places in the country for charity shopping! It has over twenty charity shops within a mile radius of the City Center and most are packed with excellent, high-quality, clean items! 


Start off at London Road where every other shop is a charity shop. Most are for clothing, but a couple of high-quality furniture shops too. My favourites for womenswear are British Red Cross (excellent bargains), PDSA and Martlets Hospice charity shop. For Menswear, Oxfam on London road often has designer items for a fraction of the price. My boyfriend got a vintage Burberry windbreaker for £40!

Carboot Sales and Marketplace Apps

Carboot sales are brilliant. When the warmer weather hits, they are scheduled every weekend all around Brighton from the Marina to the Race Course. I picked up a gorgeous immaculate Warehouse coat at a car boot sale for £10.

While the weather is cold, there’s plenty of car boot sale apps such as Depop, where you can get unique vintage items or great quality branded clothes. Also, selling your unwanted items on there is as simple as taking some decent photos of the front and back then setting a reasonable price.


Sustainable Clothing Shops

If you’re not willing to make the jump to wear second-hand clothes just yet, then you can buy new sustainably made clothes. The Fair Shop located on Queens Road supply only fair-trade and environmentally friendly clothing.

Get Sewing

Patch up your old items! And learn a new skill as you do. You don’t need a sewing machine to sew a button or fix a small rip, just get yourself a small sewing kit (travel ones are around £4 from most supermarkets). 

If you are interested in dressmaking or clothes altering, Brighton Sewing Centre and Sew In Brighton frequently do some excellent day or evening workshops.

vintage shopping brighton sustainable

Clothes Swaps

I attended a clothes swap run by Revival Collective (an awesome couple of ladies determined to find ethical alternatives in fashion) and got inspired to host my own on Thursday the 10th of January at The Brighthelm Centre on North Road. Bring up to ten items of your own clean clothing to swap! Find more details on our Facebook event.

With the exception of underwear and swimwear (which I will be buying new for obvious reasons), I don't think this resolution will be difficult to maintain as a woman living in Brighton. Hopefully by this time next year, I'll be sitting at an independent cafe, sipping a flat white from my reusable Keep Cup and smugly telling people that my entire outfit was sustainably sourced.

Article and fotos by Grace Ison